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How to track your memory with Google Photos

Memory is a difficult thing. Some of us are good at associating names with faces, while others (and here I raise my hand) have always had a problem remembering names, especially when you meet someone out of context. For example, imagine the shame when someone you know from work suddenly turns up at a friend's party and you spend the next hour trying to remember their name.

As a result, I always look for a way to put a name with a face. While there are some mobile apps that claim to help, I haven't found any decent ones for my Android phone. (The only app that really worked for me, Evernote Hello, was killed back in 201

5.) However, there is an app that can help jog a faulty memory: Google Photos.

Google's photo collection app automatically collects your images into a number of categories – including one called People. The People page provides a representative image for each person displayed in your collection; select one and you will see all photos with that person.

What makes the People page even more useful is that each of the photos on the page can be labeled with a name. So if you see a person at a party and just can't remember their name, you can find a corner, take your phone, go to the Photo People page and swipe down until you see their photo – and their name.

But it doesn't work unless you first notice individuals in your collection. It is easy, although it can be time consuming, depending on how many people appear in your photos.

  • From the primary Google Photos page, click in the search box at the top.
  • If you have a fair number of photos with people in them, you should see a horizontal strip of small pictures. Click the arrow to the right of the strip.

  Google Photos

  • This brings you to the folkside. You can see rows of square photos showing different people. This is because Google Photos collects what it believes to be photos of the same person and selects a representative image.
  • Select the person you want to identify. You can see all the photos that Photos have decided on that person. Look for a link titled "Add a Name" on that page (top left of web version; top center of mobile app).

  Google Photos

  • Select the link and start writing. Your contact list comes up so you can choose the person's name if they are already on your list. If not, just enter the name.
  • Now, when you go back to the People page, the person's face will be labeled with their name.

Of course, the pictures are incorrect in some cases. In this case, you can remove a photo from a person's page.

  • On the individual's page, move the cursor over the image you want to remove. You will see a checkbox in the upper left corner of the image; Choose it.
  • When you have finished selecting images, click on the three dots at the top right.
  • Select "Remove image."

You can also remove anyone you are not interested in looking at everything – eg. a guy who is getting bad memories – from the People page altogether.

  • In both the web and mobile versions, click on the three dots at the top right of the People page.
  • Select "Show & hide faces" (web) or "Hide & show people" (mobile).

  Google Photos

  • Choose one of the people you want to drop from the folkside. An icon with an eye with a line through it appears above the image, and when you go back to the folkside, the person will not be there.
  • Do you want them back? Go back to the page and select the person. The icon disappears and the person will be back on your People page.

Unfortunately, Google Photos lacks some features that it would be convenient to have. For example, you cannot add any pictures to a person's People page – you have to hope that the Pictures AI recognizes and adds all your photos to that person. (Something that can be very frustrating.) Watch for an extra link that sometimes appears on a person's page labeled "Same or Someone?" In that case, you can tell Pictures, yes or no, it is true a photo of that person.

  Google Photos

  Google Photos

Again, the identification and labeling of a whole lot of friends and employees will take time (especially if you need to look at their names). And since this is Google, it's a safe bet to say that it will ultimately change the functionality of the app (for better or worse) or sell it completely. I know several people who have spent hours organizing and identifying their pictures in the popular image app Picasa only to get the owner Google to pull out the blanket below them in 2016.

But if you have trouble remembering names and is desperate for something It might help give photos a try.

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